The Total and Utter Noobie Guide to Successfully Solo Mining the Cryptocurrency Gridcoin

in gridcoin •  2 years ago

Cryptocurrency is a very daunting topic for a large proportion of the population. Not only are there a lot of pitfalls in getting started, but the field is also advancing so rapidly that it takes significant effort on a daily basis to keep up with recent developments. In this tutorial, aimed at total cryptocurrency beginners, I am going to help you get started mining your first cryptocurrency - Gridcoin.

Gridcoin is a cryptocurrency that rewards miners through two systems:

  • Proof of Stake (POS) rewards everyone holding Gridcoin with annual interest of 1.5%, just like your savings account at the bank.
  • Proof of Research (POR) rewards miners with Gridcoin for contributing to science through the BOINC platform - our focus today!

What this tutorial will cover:

  • Installing BOINC on your computer
  • Installing the Gridcoin wallet to receive and hold your coins
  • Getting your first Gridcoin from a communal faucet
  • Staking your first block on the Gridcoin blockchain (the noobie block)

Installing BOINC on Your Computer

BOINC is a software platform that lets you contribute to a variety of research endeavours with the idle clock cycles of your computer. This means that while you are not using your PC, it is putting its processing power to use helping researchers from all over the planet. Topics of research are diverse, spanning mapping the Milky Way, looking for cancer markers, curing Zika, searching for prime numbers, and many more.

To begin, type 'BOINC' into your search engine of choice. The link you want should be near the top, right underneath the Gridcoin ad. Alternatively, you can navigate directly to https://boinc.berkeley.edu/.

Navigate to the download button, and select the option to 'Download BOINC + Virtualbox'. Virtual box is a piece of software some of the BOINC research projects require to function, and not installing this will limit your project choices down the line.

Once the installer has finished downloading, you should run it. I suggest installing everything into the default directories, as otherwise you will have to manually edit the paths in the configuration file later. If you are not comfortable doing this, pick the default settings. Once the installation is complete, BOINC will boot onto a screen that looks a lot like this:

You will notice that I already have a project loaded - YAFU. You will not, and the BOINC manager is going to prompt you to select a project to add. Do not do this yet. Instead, return to the BOINC home page in your browser and select the 'projects' hyperlink:

You will be presented with a long list of projects. For now, we are not trying to optimise our set-up (there are many articles on how to do that), so pick any project that you like the sound of. For the purpose of this tutorial, lets sign up to SRBase, which is a good CPU project. Click the SRBase hyperlink and you will find yourself on the project's home page. Select 'your account':

Then select 'create an account':

Fill out all the details requested, and log in to your account. On the right hand side of your account page, under 'community', click the team hyperlink and join team Gridoin. The outcome should look like this:

Joining team Gridcoin ensures that you will be paid out in Gridcoin (GRC) for the research work you do. Time to close the browser and return to our BOINC manager! Select tools --> add project, then look for SRBase in the drop down box:

Click next and supply the details you used to sign up to SRBase on the project page in your browser. You can now minimise BOINC - it will get set up to run SRBase in the background while we set up the wallet!

Installing the Gridcoin Wallet to Receive and Hold Your Coins

Go to http://gridcoin.us/ and scroll down until you see the wallet download button. As this guide is for Windows, we will download the windows wallet.

When the installer has downloaded, run it and install the Gridcoin wallet. When the installer has finished, run the wallet. It will prompt you for your email address - supply the same email address you used to sign up to the SRBase project. Then, select 'rebuild block chain' --> 'download blocks'. This take a LONG TIME. The download may also appear to hang at 99%. Just be patient, and let the wallet client do its thing. BOINC will continue ticking away in the background, which is important as we need it to finish some jobs before we can register our wallet with the Gridcoin network as a researcher. When everything is finished, the wallet overview page should look a lot like this:

Getting Your First Gridcoin From a Communal Faucet

When the wallet has finished downloading the Gridcoin blockchain and synching with the Gridcoin network, we can go and collect some Gridcoin from a communal faucet. These faucets are sponsored by community members, and give out a small amount of Gridcoin to each visitor, every day, for free. In your wallet, navigate to the 'Receive coins' , click your address, and then click 'copy address' in the bottom of the window. It is good practice to copy the address instead of typing it, so that you do not make any mistakes. If you send coins to the wrong address, there is nothing anyone can do to recover them!

Having copied your address, navigate to the faucet here. Paste your wallet address into the 'GRC Address or CPID' field and complete the Captcha, then hit submit.

You can also get some starter coins by posting a small introductory post and your wallet address in the starter coins for beginners thread on Cryptocurrencytalk.

At this point, you have to wait. I don't mean an hour, but seriously wait. Here is a rough timeline of what you can expect:

  • In 12 to 24 hours, you will receive the GRC from the faucet in your wallet.
  • In the 12-24 hours after your wallet balance reaches over 1 GRC, your wallet will advertise a beacon to the Gridcoin network. This will add your research identifier (your CPID) to the network. You know this has happened when the overview page shows an outbound transaction of 0.0011 GRC, which is the cost of registering a beacon.

Staking Your First Block on the Gridcoin Blockchain (the Noobie Block)

Have the above two events occured? Great! The network will now boost your chance to stake, or staking weight, by 100,000. This weight is called your DPOR, and is a function of your GRC balance and the amount of research you are doing. With a bonus to DPOR of 100,000 you can expect to stake your first block on the Gridcoin blockchain in a few days. This block will award you roughly one GRC and is called the 'noobie block'.

Congratulations! You are now a fully set up solo miner!


See the following links to help you optimise your mining:


If you have any questions, drop them below and I will do my best to help.

If you would like to get further involved, or to read up on what is going on with the network, you can check out the following channels serving the Gridcoin network:

  • Gridcoin Developer Slack - General channels for troubleshooting, as well as developer and branding discussions.

  • Gridcoin IRC - Join the linked channel, then register with NickServ using the instructions at the top of the page so you can join #Gridcoin. This is required to stop someone else stealing your nickname and the associated GRC.

  • Gridcoin Steemit - You are here already! =)

  • Gridcoin Homepage - The actively maintained and developed homepage of GRC globally.

  • Gridcoin Subreddit - Anything GRC related. The developers read the comments posted here, and will in all likelihood directly address any questions you pose within the day.

  • Gridcoin Forum and Main Thread - The ongoing megathread where you are most likely to find the original GRC developer Rob weighing in.

  • Gridcoin Twitter - Keep up to date with GRC news.


Image credit:
Banner, @joshoeah

HighQuality.gif

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A great tutorial about solo crunching!

I recommend all new members to join first a pool like http://www.grcpool.com .
Pool crunching infos can be found here: http://gridcoin.us/Guides/pool.htm
In a pool you see your work results on daily bases. You can see a lot of information in the pool statistics.
For solo mining you need some thousand gridcoins and a magnitude over 20, to get a billing period below a week.

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While the set-up for pool mining is easier, it is a common misconception that you need thousands of GRC or a mag over 20 to solo mine.

The true requirement to be paid out for all your work is to stake at least once every 6 months. You can do that with a combination of balance through POS, or research through POR.

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Your are right. If you don't stake in 6 Month you will loose your work payment. But who wants to see his work results after 6 month? Smaller billing periods are always better. You got a shorter feedback loop.

I am really sad that if have switch to fast to solo.
My first month in Gridcoin looked like this:
The first week my graphics card driver was a mess. Only 1/3 of possible work
performance. After that i lost working bonus for several weeks because of Mag. 0 issues.

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Ah, don't worry about the zero mag issues - you will be paid out for work done once the superblocks return to normal. A new client has just been released, and there is a compulsory upgrade inbound in the future.

I do agree about the pool being nice for frequent payouts. Solo just feels more satisfying though. =)

Remember that you can always return to pool mining if you want.

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Existing BOINC users would probably not want to join a pool because they would not be researching for their existing accounts anymore and would not gain any stats.

It's great for new members who have no existing experience with BOINC though. However, they still might not want to join the pool because they would not be able to vote on important matters.

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Very true. My BOINC stats motivate me almost as much as the coins do :-)

Love your high quality content man and I am sure it comes handie to many newcomers, sooner or later.. You deserve each and every penny you make from these posts. Resteemed, upvoted and I will be sharing on ann and reddit etc ^_^

Great post, this should really help out new users. Nice image of the new Gridcoin logo :-)

It might also be worth mentioning that once the beacon has been registered they should backup the gridcoinresearch.conf file and to regularly backup the wallet.dat

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I will add this - excellent point.

Cost of the beacon is 0.0011 GRC, but if I remember correctly, one needs to have at least 1.011 GRC in his wallet in order to send it? Gridcoinstats faucet won't issue that much in a single payout.

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Good point... I will add a suggestion to post on the forum.

That might become a problem if we get a big influx of new users some time in future, although telling them to buy 1 GRC on an exchange will probably be too much to expect of a new miner.

How do I get my Gridcoin wallet in sync with the Gridcoin network?

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It will sync up given enough time and an active internet connection. If the block number does not move for 10 minutes, you may need to reboot the wallet.

This is assuming you have already downloaded the blockchain and were in sync previously.

Ok, so I think I have made the conversion to solo mining, but I have a few questions. I have a fair amount of coins now from pool mining, and I am still owed a few from the pool. How do I get them off the pool into my wallet? I have a stake weight in my client messages, but the "stake" at the top of my wallet says 0.00 GRC. Is that normal?

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I have a fair amount of coins now from pool mining, and I am still owed a few from the pool. How do I get them off the pool into my wallet?

You can do this the same way you have always been withdrawing GRC from the pool. Due to how RAC (and thus mag) build and decay over time you will continue to receive diminishing payouts from the pool for over a month after you completely stop mining for the pool's CPID.

I have a stake weight in my client messages, but the "stake" at the top of my wallet says 0.00 GRC. Is that normal?

Yes, entirely normal! The stake field holds coins that have just been used to stake a block, and are effectively on cooldown. This removes them from the 'available' staking balance displayed right above.

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Nice. Another question I have is, how do I switch projects in solo mining? Right now I am running enigma, but I would rather run Asteroids. Is it possible to run two or more at the same time? Or can I switch to a different one?

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You can run as many projects simultaneously as you like!

Simply add the project from the BOINC interface, or the command line if you prefer, or even from BAM. Your machine will then evenly divide its compute power across the projects, unless you manually change the split.

If you want to stop running a specific project for a while, just set it to receive no new work units. This way it is easy to resume work on it later, and you will finish any work already sent out to your machine by the project server, which is good manner. =)

This is very usefull post for newbies who wants to try mining. I am very grateful that there are people like you, who are helping newcomers. Vote from me!

Does this coin have investment value in it ? Rather than mining ?

I would like to invest some money in any coin, but it should be so new, that it is under $1.
To make the same profit as early adopters of bitcoin made.

Do you have any suggestions, I would like to invest slowly $200 per month. And I am in it for the long term.

Here is what I have an eye on.

3: # Steem
2: # Ripple
1: # IOTA

So, any suggestions would be appreciated. And possible prize predictions in long term.
Thank you :)

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I am not a crypto investor, as PhD students do not tend to have a whole lot of money to spare. That being said, I do mine and hold Gridcoin.

I think Gridcoin is going to do well for two reasons:

  • It has a very well established platform (BOINC) behind it, which has had over a decade of development. This platform allows Gridoin to reward research, instead of wasting hashing power. It is essentially an alternative to DPOS to prevent waste.

  • Researchers are able to outsource their projects to the BOINC platform and reward users in GRC for crunching the work units. Everything is already in place for this to happen, and it is only a matter of time before the first project like this is introduced. Essentially, the Gridcoin network makes hundreds of thousands of logical cores available for charter on a robust, tested platform.

In terms of investment advice, I do not think I am at all qualified to give it.

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Okay, Thank you sir :)
I will do a little research on the mining power it needs to pull some profit from Gridcoin.

I hope it is still in Khps or atleast ~2Mhps ( as I don't have that much power in my computer and graphics card is not that good.

But I will look at this coin. And probably use your tutorial if my calculations come up.
Thank you :)

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"Mining" Gridcoin is essentially different than other coins. We are not wasting computing power by calculating useless hashes but rather perform scientific calculations for which we get rewarded. Negative point is, that we can't provide Mh/s or something like this, since it depends on the project you choose. There are some projects which profit from older hardware, for example the best graphics card for [email protected] is the r9 280x which is quite some years old now.
But even if you can't or don't want to mine you can still invest and gain status as an Investor. You are getting annual 1,5% for the coins you hold and the investment price isn't that high right now, so maybe give it a try ;)

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You cannot compare hashing power when it comes to mining Gridcoin. Because you are contributing to actual science, it can also only be done with CPUs and GPUs - not ASICs.

Generally speaking, the better your hardware, the better your mint. We generally compare GPUs by their GFLOPS, and CPUs by their generation and clock speed in MHz.

See these:

CPU Return
GPU Return

You got my vote and a resteem :)

Very interesting! I am currently minting Reddcoin, so it is cool to see how other coins generate profits for investors/users.

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Thank you for the feedback!

It seems to me that Steemit has essentially achieved everything Reddcoin hoped to do, but on one platform instead of integrating with older social media sites.

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Yes I think that you are correct,,,,,,,,,,,,

Good Post

When I first set up I found the tutorial on the official website slightly lacking and outdated. I'm glad that there is new information being made available.
What would be great is a really good video tutorial. The one on the official Gridcoin Youtube channel uses some jargon and isn't super clear IIRC.

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Got it - I will make one!

I think the video on the official YT channel is good, but it is also very outdated...

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When I first set up I found the tutorial on the official website slightly lacking and outdated.

Do you feel that this is still the case? The gridcoin website was recently updated.

Great tutorial!

Does the wallet need to be locked or unlocked? I've been trying to stake my newbie block for a month now with no success. Seems I've got everything setup correctly. BOINC mining on several computers with a mag of 40 and GRC balance of 471. It gave me a "Block vehemently rejected" the other day message.

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The wallet needs to be unlocked, or at the very least unlocked for staking, in order to stake any block. Unlocking your wallet for 'staking only' is done with the checkbox on the unlock screen, and is good practice.

I think that message appears when a wallet tries to stake a block too soon after the last, as there is a minimum spacing. However, I am not 100% sure. If it is not the spacing, I will get back to you with more information.

If your wallet is unlocked, it is very strange that you have not staked your noobie block in a month. What is your CPID?

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Here is the link to my CPID. https://www1.gridcoinstats.eu/cpid/b84e5be673dcff58e460d01d36a01e76#

I'm running the wallet on a Raspberry Pi 3 in Raspbian.

I tried unlocking the wallet without the "For staking only" this time.

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We are looking into it. That is an odd length of time to not stake the noobie block. What does your wallet say your DPOR weight is?

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Interesting. I switched back to "For staking only" and my DPOR Weight is 3400511. When the wallet was unlocked without "For staking only" the DPOR Weight was 511.

Edit: Might have been a display bug. Switched back again and it was still 3400511.

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Right, the high weight is as expected for staking your first block. What error message came along with 'Block vehemently rejected'? There should have been something else, probably above it.

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There was nothing above it on the wallet window other than the current poll. I'm looking through debug.log but not sure what I should be looking for. The file is 770MB and when I search for 'vehemently' or 'rejected' there are no results.

Is there a command I should use from the console to find more about this error message?

The client message changes often to "Interest: 27 minutes POR: 15 seconds Newbie block being generated. Kernal 0"

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That client message is what I would expect, but should have resulted in a noobie block within a week tops. @scalextrix is a Raspberry Pi fan in the community, so maybe he can help further on this one.

Great information. Thank you so much. I´m seriously thinking about it.

Is mining gridcoin as economically convenient as mining other cryptos? What´s the value of a gridcoin? Is it exchangeable, or it just can be used within the community? If used internally, what would one buy with it?

And the final question. With a normal W10 computer used almost exclusively for this, how much I could earn? Just a rough estimate, a reference you can think of.

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Sure, it is viable to mine. We just had another massive price boost overnight, and I think we will be at or near USD$0.10 by the end of the month.

The value in the coin is twofold:

  • It is a token to represent contributions to research (relevant within the community)
  • It can be used by external researchers to incentivise compute by 'raining' GRC on everyone doing the compute work. Essentially, Gridcoin lets anyone buy compute on an existing infrastructure. Think Golem, but it already exists and has had 15 years of back-end development.

You can definitely use Gridcoin externally - it can be turned into whatever you like on an exchange, or used directly on (currently a very small) selection of websites. The community also often trades it internally for Paypal, etc.

For your computer's revenue estimate I would need some specs. Open your start menu, type 'run'. Then open the run window and type 'dxdiag'. First tab has your CPU, second tab has your GPU.

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Great. Kind of you. Here are the screenshots.

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Ok, so you have an i5-6200U CPU running at 2.30GHz, and an integrated graphics chip. I assume this is a laptop based on the computer name and that being a low power CPU?

Unfortunately, laptops carry some very underpowered hardware relative to desktops, so are not very good at doing research jobs that earn Gridcoin. You would earn maybe 1 GRC/day. It is also important to consider that laptops overheat very easily, so you may not be able to run it to capacity.

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Correct, it is a laptop. Thank you very much for your guidance. I´ll keep reading here, and I´ll let you know if I make any progress in this regard.

thank you for this post

These instructions are waaayy better than the ones on the gridcoin website lol. Thanks a lot Dutch! Resteem!

Great post huge knowledge in it i appreciate your work.

very useful for me as i haven't tried mining and am clueless- am glad your post gives enough detail to work out how to mine girdcoins - Am happy to follow you in support

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Good luck if you try and get set up! Let someone from the GRC sub (or me) know if you need any help. =)

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thanks very much

very interesting